The rising threat of new rent control regulations was a main focus for NMHC members at the 2018 NMHC Fall Meeting. And California is ground zero for the fight.
The California ballot initiative Proposition 10 would allow local municipalities to put rent caps on all rental properties—single family, multifamily and condominiums—without any restrictions. Simply translated: A city can put rent caps on new construction and limit what an owner can charge for rent forever—even after a resident moves out. This is nothing short of an existential threat to the multifamily industry, posing a greater risk than any issue the industry has faced in decades.
NMHC Vice President Jim Lapides gave a briefing describing the efforts being undertaken in California and what’s at stake for the industry. NMHC and NAA are not standing by. On behalf of the apartment industry, NMHC and NAA are working with industry leaders in California to fight back against the ballot initiative and the misrepresentations that rent control—a proven failed policy—can do anything to fix California’s housing affordability challenges. Learn more here.
However, while the ballot fight in California is taking center stage, the fight isn’t limited to only one state. With that in mind, NMHC and NAA are in the process of developing a new, wide-ranging initiative to push back on rent control across the country and surface real policy solutions. More information on this effort will be released over the coming weeks. Stay up to date by signing up here.
In the meantime, NMHC is gathering up resources and tools to help inform decisionmakers and aid members in their engagement on this issue. One helpful resource is a recent report that examined existing rent control research and concluded that:
- Rent control and rent stabilization laws lead to a reduction in the available supply of rental housing in a community;
- Rent control policies generally lead to higher rents in the uncontrolled market;
- Rent control and rent stabilization policies do a poor job at targeting benefits;
- Rent control can cause renters to continue to live in units that are too small, too large or not in the right locations to best meet their housing needs;
- There are significant fiscal costs associated with implementing a rent control program;
- Rent-controlled buildings can potentially suffer from deterioration or lack of investment; and
- Rent control policies can hold rents of controlled units at lower levels but not under all circumstances.
In addition, this interactive map breaks down rent control laws by state and outlines the relevant laws in each state and key municipality that the industry contends faces.
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